Friday, September 10, 2010

Pokemon B/W Designer Interviews, Zoos and Aquariums for Inspiration

Written by pikaby

In order to design Pokemon you even visited an aquarium. Did you go out to research often?
Sugimori: At the beginning of development, the entire team went to the zoo. In this case it was the Tama Zoo that we visited. We each went our own way to watch the animals. The mole exhibit was really interesting. Tubes were connected through the ceiling, and the moles ran through them at incredible speeds. I was shocked.
Tagami: Usually I look at picture books and nature programs on television. When I heard about Mr. Oomura’s trip to the aquarium, I also went to the zoo to observe the snakes. But I watched the snakes for about 30 minutes, and they didn’t move at all. (laughs)
Ibe: I also went to zoos and pet shops where I could actually touch the animals. I checked where the joints met and watched how the birds folded their wings. (laughs)
That’s interesting. What ended up being your best reference?
Oomura: Actually observing living animals, of course. As the game’s development grew more hectic we couldn’t go out to research, but we’d come to understand how the animals moved, captured prey, etc., and that made drawing easier.
Tagami: When the development was hectic, I would reference the people walking around town. People’s hairstyles and so on. It was interesting. (laughs)
Sugimori: It’s as they said. Many different things went into the Pokemon. For example, with the Fire-type Pokemon, the pipes from furnaces and ironworks went into the shape of the body and the markings. By tying different images together, new designs were born.
The full interview by Pokemon Peer is being translated by as we speak, and includes fascinating details of the making of the starter Pokemon, how the process goes on, and much more. Link.
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